Women In Math

You may have seen this flyer making the rounds on social media:

BYU Women in Math Flyer
According to the BYU Math Department, the flyer design was not satire, but instead, well-intentioned outreach. No hard feelings, at least from me.

I visit the Math Department on our campus often. The walls have lots of interesting attractions: flyers, posters describing research, and even some art. Art. Like this piece, which brings a whole new dimension to the idea of “women in math.”
women in math colorado
The person in the photo is my partner in crime, my Math Department counterpart, on our business math class. She was a good sport in posing with this art. Here are my thoughts on this piece:

    Women in math: the view from below?
    Georgia O’Keeffe?
    Do you think they notice?

In writing this post, I thought I would gain clarity about my feelings on this piece of art. Am I offended? (No, I don’t think so.) Amused? (Yes, at least somewhat.) Mildly indignant? Yes, that is it. But why? Because the piece reminds me of the huge gender imbalance in the field. I think if more women populated the halls of the department, there would at least be a conversation about whether this particular choice of decoration is inappropriate.

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